Category Archives: Horse Breeds

The Main Portuguese Horse Breeds at a Glance

The western-most Iberian country of mainland Europe, Portugal, is home to a handful of thoroughbreds that have become famous the world over. These are the Lusitano, Sorraia and Garrano Portuguese horse breeds. Each has a unique breeding history that essentially had their roots in the Iberian plains long before recorded history.

The Lusitano Breed

The most famous Portuguese horse is the Lusitano, named after Lusitania which the conquering Romans called Portugal in the first century BC. Modern Portuguese equestrian sports have been known to use the Lusitano horse exclusively for years. It is believed to have had its roots in a number of cross breeding between the local Berber pony and the Arabian horse that entered the country during the various waves of Carthaginian, Roman, Germanic and Arab Moorish conquests of the Iberian Peninsula.

But it was not until 1942 when veterinarians from the government’s National Stud officially christened the specific horse breed at the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art as Lusitano, did the name finally entered the Portuguese Stud Book first published in 1889.

There have been other similar breeds found in Spain and in 1962, an agreement between Spanish and local breeders was reached on the specific traits that would distinguish the Portuguese Lusitano and Spain’s Espanhol breeds.

The Garrano Breed

With prehistoric roots, the Portuguese Garrano has it roots from the Iberian pony native to the northern mountainous regions of the country. Cave rock drawings in caves of Altamira and La Pasiega depict the ancestral Garrano origins used mainly as the main means for agriculture and transport needs of the early Portuguese.

Its subsequent breeding with foreign breed introduced over centuries of domination from various conquering peoples has produced other Portuguese horse breeds that now include the modern Garrano. Its straight head profile and short legs won’t give it equestrian qualities but they continue to be used in large rural farm communities.

The Sorraia Breed

In 1945, Dr Ruy D’Andrade discovered a unique horse that thrived in the valley where the Sorraia River flows through after getting merged from the Sor and Raia tributaries in the same northern regions of the country where the Garrano also roamed freely.

He aptly named it the Sorraia horse as one of the native Portuguese horse breeds of modern times. Like the Garrano, there have been rock engravings dating back to the Ice Age that reveal a prehistoric ancestral horse species resembling the character of the Sorraia horse. These are the least populous of the three breeds and are likewise used more for agricultural and transport needs of the rural communities.

For more information regarding Portuguese Horse Breeds, visit Portugal Blog.com

Originally posted 2012-06-23 08:09:22.

Poco Lena

Without a doubt, one of the best known early AQHA cutting horses of all time. She was Reserve NCHA Champion 5 times, in the top ten 9 times, escaped death once when she coliced under Don Dodge’s ownership and had to be rushed into surgery, escaped death a second time when she was left abandoned in a trailer, and escaped death yet a third time when her last owners, upon seeing her for the first time, wanted to put her down. The Jensen’s attending vets convinced them to give her a chance. After three years, the effects of the hormones she was under while showing finally subsided, and she was in foal for the first time. Sadly, she only produced two foals, but both went on to found a dynasty that still exists today.

Originally posted 2012-05-24 07:53:54.

Draft (Draught) Horses – Friesians and Gypsy Cobs

Friesians

Brief History

This draft breed is rooted in Friesland, Northwestern Europe, which is now a part of the Netherlands. The original stock was descended from the order of Equus robustus (the big horse). In the 16th and 17th centuries, Andalusian lineage was introduced to the bloodline in the form of Spanish stallions which were abandoned on the battlefield during the war between the Spanish and the Dutch. This new blood endowed the Friesian line with higher knee action, smaller heads, and arching necks.

Description and Characteristics

The Friesian is one of the smaller draft horses, in stature and weight. In order for Friesians to be deemed purebred, and allowed to be used for breeding stock for a purebred line, they must be at least 14.3 hands (57.2 in., or 145.3 cm.) at the shoulder. And the subject must be solid black with no white markings on the legs or body. The typical height is 15.3 to 16.1 hands (155.4 to 163.6 cm., or 61.2 to 64.4 in.). The Friesian is heavily boned, and the adult averages about 1300 pounds (92.3 stones). This breed appears to be short and stocky. The thick manes and tails, and abundant fetlock hair are traditionally allowed to remain full and natural. The Friesian has a good temperament and is sensible but lively. The breed can be used for pulling, or for saddle riding. And while Friesians have the normal gaits – walk, trot, and canter – long tradition has emphasized the “big” trot which is typical of the breed.

Gypsy Cob

History

This small draft horse traces its roots to the Romanys, who had no need for the larger drafts. For almost 100 years the Romany people, or Gypsies, have bred the cob to pull their traditional carts and “mobile homes” throughout the country lanes of Ireland and England. And although many of the “Travelers” – as the ones who move about the country are called – have changed to more modern conveyances, there are still those who cling to the traditional mode of travel.

Even though many people of the Romany heritage no longer travel, they continue to breed these colorful horses as a way of keeping tradition alive. As long ago the modern Gypsy’s wealth is still, in a large part, measured by the size and quality of his horse herd.

Description and Conformation

The Gypsy Cob has no one specific color. The most common are pinto patterned, piebald, and skewbald. They are small, in that they traditionally stand 13 to 15.2 hands (52 to 60.8 in., or 132 to 154 cm.) at the shoulder. They are compact, yet sturdy and durable. Their stamina allows them to pull a loaded “living wagon”, at a steady trot, all day long.

In order to be classified as a traditional Gypsy horse, they must have an abundance of hair and feathering. The feathering starts at the knee and grows all over the bottom half of the leg to the hoof.

The Gypsy Cob has been bred for a particular type for years, but can trace their ancestral roots back to Clydesdales, Shires, Friesians, and Irish Drafts as well a Connemara, Dales, and Fell ponies. This horse is typically known to be very sound and sane, a faithful companion, and to possess incredible versatility.

By
Your Independent guide to Horses [http://horse-guides.com]

Originally posted 2012-05-19 07:52:20.

Arabian Horses – Discover Some Amazing Facts About the Arabian Horse

Arabian horses are the oldest purebred horse in the world and also, the most influential. Their blood lines have been used to improve many other well-known breeds throughout the world today.

In fact all Thoroughbreds in the world today can trace their ancestry through to 3 Arabian sires that were imported to England between 250 and 300 years ago. They were The Byerley Turk (about 1684-90), The Darley Arabian (1700) and The Godolphin Arabian (1730).

There are many different lines within the Arab breed. One of the most famous lines is the desert stock, which is also known as the Original or Elite Arab, bred by the nomadic tribesmen, the Bedouin. They needed a horse tough enough to handle the rigours of life in the desert – hunting, battles etc. – but also beautiful enough to be proud of. Very selective breeding methods were used over centuries to achieve this.

Other well-known lines included the Persian (or Crabbet), Egyptian and Polish. The Crabbet and Polish lines tend to be more solid, & less ‘extreme’ with their features, than the Egyptian Arab.

Breed Features

  • Sure footedness on rough going.
  • Refined head.
  • High tail carriage
  • The ability to exist on a sparse diet.
  • Intelligence.
  • Stamina/endurance.
  • Hereditary soundness
  • Speed

The head of Arabian horses tends to be short, with a prominent forehead, a concave face and a small muzzle. The eyes are set well apart and are large, almost ‘poppy’ in appearance. They have a deep jaw line and the ears are small, alert and curved.

They have a beautifully curved neck (Egyptian Arabs tend to have a slightly longer neck than the other lines) which comes into a short, strong back. They have a broad chest and a deep girth which provides a large chest cavity – essential when used in extreme desert conditions.

Perhaps one of the most well-known features of the Arabian horses, is their high tail carriage. Not so easily noticed though, is the fact that Arabian horses have one less lumbar vertebra in their backbone – 5 instead of 6 – than other horse breeds, and also 1 less rib.

Common Uses

The Arabian horses are perhaps most well-known for their success in endurance riding around the world. After having been selectively bred by the Arabs for centuries for stamina and soundness it’s little wonder.

They are also used for the high prize money desert racing (similar to endurance, but over shorter distances so at a higher speed) in Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, where it’s not uncommon for a good Arab racehorse to change hands for hundreds, if not millions of dollars.

Arabs are also brilliant allrounders – pleasure horses, pony club, show jumpers, show horses, dressage horses etc. They have an excellent temperament and are very intelligent.

Rider/Owner Level

Beginner – Experienced

I would not suggest an Arab for most beginner riders. They are a smart horse, and they do not appreciate being incorrectly ridden or handled – something which many people, from beginners to even the most experienced, do without even realising. However, they can suit any level, providing you are willing to learn the correct way to treat a horse – the best way is through one of the many natural horsemanship techniques.

Arabs don’t need to be handled any differently from any other breed…the problem is that many riders don’t even know how to properly handle other breeds. The difference is, most other breeds of horses (which are often not as intelligent) will put up with rough or incorrect handling…the Arabian horses won’t.

However, if you know how to handle horses correctly or are willing to learn, an Arab will be your friend for life, will do anything for you and will have one of the most trainable temperaments you’ll find on any horse.

Want to learn more about Arabian horses or anything else related to horses? Visit http://HorsePaddock.com

By

 

Originally posted 2012-03-28 07:34:47.

Origins of the Thoroughbred

As mentioned in our previous article, the origins of all horses belonging to the Thoroughbred breed have been attributed to three Arabian Stallions. The Byerley Turk (the earliest of the three), The Darley Arabian, and The Godolphin Arabian.

The Thoroughbred Jockey Club has documented some 3 million Thoroughbreds in their “Stud Book” and approximately 40,000 registered each year. The extreme diversity of Thoroughbred Stallions is reflected by the industries’ demand for a “Live Cover” by the Stud being used. That is to say the Thoroughbred industry does not permit transported semen or artificial insemination of any kind. The Arabian Jockey Club does allow for transported and frozen semen which limits the diversity of Stallions.

The Thoroughbred Jockey Club owes its beginnings to James Weatherby who created the first “Stud Book” in 1791. He listed pedigrees of over 350 mares, each of which could be traced back to “Eclipse”, a descendant of The Darley Arabian, Matchem, a grandson of The Godolphin Arabian or Herod, A great grandson of The Byerley Turk.

The first TB to reach America was a Stallion named “Bulle Rock” in 1730. Some 186 Thoroughbred’s would be imported to the colonies forming the foundation of the Thoroughbred family tree. Colonel Sanders Bruce published the first American Stud Book in 1873 and was subsequently taken over by The Jockey Club.

Progeny of Stallions and mares relate primarily to earnings on the race track. “Storm Cat” commanded a stud fee of $500,000.00 and his sons and daughters have won over $100,000,000.00 and he is considered to be a “Sire of Sires.” Just as important as the Sire is the Mare, and one of the most important bloodlines of the 20th. Century is the Mare “La Troienne.”

A number of Champions trace back to her including Seattle Slew, A.P. Indy, Sea Hero, Go For Gin, Easy Goer, etc., etc. Smarty Jones also has two crosses to La Troienne and he has bloodlines that go back to a War Admiral and La Troienne cross.

So it must be obvious that with 40,000 registered Thoroughbreds it is impossible to give anything except a brief overview of Thoroughbred bloodlines. I would refer the reader to three excellent books: Designing Speed by Ken McLean; Racehorse Breeding Theories by Frank Mitchell; and finally The Byerley Turk by Jeramy James in which he characterized the first and greatest Arabian Stallion and his rise to prominence through Capt. Robert Byerley.

We’ll next take a look at the Standard bred Horse as well as the ever popular Quarter Horse.

Joy D. Cox
http://www.onlineanimalinfo.com/

 

Originally posted 2012-01-21 06:47:26.

Story Of Dun It For Money

Dun-It-For-Money-CCRI first laid eyes on Dun It For Money as a yearling where he was in a pen with other colts. Knowing he was too expensive for me, I purchased another colt who turned out to be a champion. I could not get him out of his mind. As a three year old, he was then sent to the NRHA Futurity where he placed in the finals.

The following Spring, Dun It For Money was shown at the Olympic Trials in Burbank. I sat in the stands with the owner as they watched a hot mad stallion stop and refuse to go any more. The rider threw his hands up in the air and rode out of the arena. The owner ran over and grabbed Dun It For Money from the trainer.

I did not see him again for 6 months and I still could not get him out of his mind. When Dun It For Money went up for sale, I sent for him. At the time that he arrived at my ranch, he was upset at the world and came out of the trailer on his hind legs rearing and striking. At that moment, I decided that Dun It For Money wasn’t ever going to leave my side. You see, we were both at a very similar stage in our lives and when we looked each other in the eye, there was a silent understanding.

With a month of horse trading and negotiating, I was able to purchase Dun It For Money. This was the most incredible moment in my life. I led him down to his arena and with eager anticipation I got on him. Dun It For Money promptly reached around and grabbed my leg with his mouth and took me to the ground. I pulled his head around, got him up, and got back on. Away we on our first trail ride together. I made him a promise that I would not ever work him or train him in an arena again because of Dun It For Money’s bad experiences. He blossomed very quickly and never once did he show any signs of quitting or getting mad!

The following summer I decided to enter him in the prestigious Santa Barbara Fiesta Rodeo and Stock Horse show him in Open Reining. We won it! I then entered him in the Monterey National Horse Show Open and again we took the championship title. I and Dun It For Money moved to Rosamond, CA where we occasionally showed at the local level. Not wanting to do reining with Dun It anymore, I just played around roping, team penning, and working cattle.

When Dun It For Money turned 15 years old, I decided to semi retire him to occasional trail rides only. Dun It For Money was not happy and grew over time to become mad and resentful over non use.

When the Extreme Cowboy Association “EXCA” Racing finals was just three days away, I decided to pull him out of his pen and try him on obstacles. To my surprise he loved it! In this first EXCA race, Dun It For Money had to jump, drag logs, and go over teeter bridges for the first time because I had not had a chance to introduce him to them. Dun It did not refuse one obstacle! We placed 4th in the Regional Championship with only 3 days preparation. Our first run video is the most posted and viewed globally and still is the favorite.

Three weeks later I took Dun It For Money to the Vaquero Days EXCA race in Desconso, CA where we won the Pro title. A few months later I took him to the EXCA World Championship where we made the finals and put on the first match race against Lee Hart. The Equine Affaire EXCA race was a couple months later where we placed 3rd against California’s toughest competition. Soon after we competed at the California Cowboy Racers EXCA event and we won it! This was his last race. Shortly afterwards, on May 24, 2011 at approximately 2:43 pm, Dun It For Money had a heart attack while breeding a mare and died in my arms. His legacy lives on through Dun It Colt 45, Laredo, La Cody Dun It, and Dun It Docavanna; all of which I own. On November 4, 2012, Dun It For Money was the first horse inducted into the EXCA Horse Hall of Fame.

I had always dreamed of the perfect horse, being a buckskin paint stud by Dun It For Money. I got my wish in March of 2008. I had been getting up every morning anticipating the new arrival. On the morning Laredo was born, I had Evon go check to see if he arrived. Evon came back to my room elated, “Chop, chop, get up and come see your dream horse”!

Laredo Dun It is the only buckskin paint stud by Dun It For Money. Laredo has his sire’s athletic ability, intelligence, and temperament. Laredo or Baby Bucky as we call him is now being trained for future shows and performances with an Extreme Cowboy Racing career in sight for 2015.

By Bill Cameron

Website: http://www.NaturalBornRiders.com

 

Understanding the Importance and Popularity of the American Quarter Horse

cowgirl-419084_1280By: Phil Wiskell

Quarter Horse seems like a strange name for an animal, but only until you understand that Quarter horses are able to run a quarter mile faster than any other horse can run the same distance (in some situations, a Quarter Horse has been recorded at over 50 miles per hour while running at full speed), then its given name makes good sense. In part, that is a testament to the horse’s athletic ability, along with its strong, well-muscled hind legs.

Combine versatility and an even temper with those characteristics (athleticism and muscle structure) and you can see why Quarter Horses are some of the most popular choices among those who are buying from a list of horses for sale. Not only is the American Quarter Horse common with a lot of general buyers, but the breed is popular overall; the majority of horses registered worldwide are registered with the American Quarter Horse Association.

Of the registered Quarter Horses, many run races thanks to their speed. Many others are participants in horse shows. Others work on ranches around the world. Still others – thanks to the Quarter Horse’s compact body – are used in working with cows, calf roping, barrel racing, reining, cutting as well as other riding events. But don’t think of the Quarter Horse as merely a workhorse: the Quarter Horse is equally at home in other equestrian events.

Sport and speed both create environments in which the American Quarter Horse feels at home. With Thoroughbred, Arabian and Morgan bloodlines all contributing to the genetic pool of the American Quarter Horse, it’s not difficult to see why the Quarter Horse excels in most situations.

Because of this, the American Quarter Horse is often seen in show environments, in racing events, in rodeos as well as on the ranch, and even in stables that are home to horses that are owned by individuals and families, who just want a horse that they can take out for enjoyable rides on trails. It’s important to note, however that just because Quarter Horses are used for ranch working purposes as well as for trail riding doesn’t mean that they don’t serve other purposes as well; for example, many quarter horses have been used for dressage and for jumping competitions.

As with anything else in life, not all Quarter Horses are created equal. Most grow to between 14 and 16 hands high with some growing to 17 hands. Stock Quarter Horses are agile and muscled, however they appear to be compact and a bit stocky. Halter Quarter Horses, on the other hand tend to be taller and have similar smooth muscling to the Thoroughbred.

Regardless of whether or not the horses are of the stock or halter variety, you’re likely to discover that Quarter Horses are available in a wide variety of colors. Most commonly, you’ll find them listed as sorrel – a brownish-red, chestnut brown shade. That, however, doesn’t mean that you won’t find Quarter Horses listed that are described as black, bay, gray, dun, palomino, red roan or a number of other shades. All of these colors – along with spotted or pinto colors – are found to be acceptable when it comes time to register a horse with the American Quarter Horse Association, provided the horse’s parents were registered as well.

If you are looking for a family horse, lineage and registration with the American Quarter Horse Association may not be among your top priorities when you’re looking through listings of horses for sale. Instead, you may be focused on a child’s request for “a brown one,” or on finding a Quarter Horse that is closer to 14 hands rather than 16 or 17, which will make it easier for even the youngest members of your family to ride.

On the other hand, if you are looking for an American Quarter Horse because you are looking for the right animal to help you around the ranch, when it comes to reigning in cattle, you may actually want to know whether or not the Quarter Horse is from a working line.

In other words, when you’re making an effort to research Quarter Horses for any purpose, focus on your needs first and foremost. You will be more likely to find a Quarter Horse that will meet your expectations if you know what your expectations really are. This way you are sure to find exactly the Quarter Horse you need and want.

About the Author

Phil Wiskell is a writer for HorseClicks.com, popular classifieds of horses for sale, used trailers and ranches for sale.

(ArticlesBase SC #457411)

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/Understanding the Importance and Popularity of the American Quarter Horse

2015 American Quarter Horse Calendar
Legends: Outstanding Quarter Horse Stallions & Mares, Revised (A Western Horseman Book) (Volume 8)
Legends, Vol. 7: Outstanding Quarter Horse Stallions and Mares
The Quarter Horse

Palomino Horse A Question Of Colour?

palominoDue to their unusual colour, Palominos stand out in a show ring, and are much sought after as parade horses.

The Palomino is considered a colour breed. Palomino is a coat colour in horses, consisting of a gold coat and white or flaxen mane and tail. Genetically, the palomino colour is created by a dilution gene working on a red (chestnut) base coat. However, most colour breed registries that record Palomino horses were founded before equine coat colour genetics were understood as well as they are today, and hence the standard definition of a Palomino is based on the coat colour visible to the eye, not the underlying presence of the dilution gene. Thus, palomino is simply a colour and not a set of characteristics that make up a “breed”.

Because registration is based solely on coat color, horses from many breeds or combination of breeds may qualify. Some breeds that have palomino representatives are the American Saddlebred, Tennessee Walking Horse, Morgan and Quarter Horse.

The color is fairly rare in the Thoroughbred, but does in fact occur and is recognized by The Jockey Club.

Unlike the Appaloosa, which is a distinct breed that also happens to have a unique colour, any breed or type of horse usually may be registered as palomino if they are properly golden-coloured (though, for some registries, horses may also meet a conformation or type standard).

While the breed standard states the ideal colour is that of a “newly minted gold coin” (sometimes mistakenly claimed to be a penny), some Palomino registries allow a coat colour that may range from cremello, an almost-white colour, to a deep, dark, chocolate colour (“chocolate palomino”).

The liver chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail (back), may be accepted as “palomino” by some colour registries.

A palomino at the lighter end of the acceptable range of colour, coat is still a golden shade, skin is dark, horse is not quite a cremello.

White markings are also permitted on the face, but must not extend past the eyes.

Some breeds, such as the Haflinger and Arabian, may appear to be palomino, but are genetically chestnuts with flaxen manes and tails, as neither breed carries the creme dilution that creates this colour. White markings are permitted on the legs, but must not extend beyond the knees or hocks.

Famous Palominos

One of the most famous Palomino horses was Trigger, acknowledged as “the smartest horse in movies,” the faithful mount of the Hollywood Cowboy star Roy Rogers during the 1940s and 1950s. Another famous Palomino was Mr. Ed (real name Bamboo Harvester) who starred on his own TV show in the 1960s.

Finally it should be noted that Link’s Horse Epona, from the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, can be considered a Palomino.

Tips For Sport Horse Buying at European Auctions

A good rider rides transition to transition a great rider rides half-halt to half-halt! ~Robert Dover

By

 

We began our journey approximately 1 year prior to the purchase of our Hanoverian gelding. At that time we were primarily shopping in the U.S. for a young dressage prospect. Our goal was to find a horse with potential that we could enjoy developing and furthering to the fullest of his abilities.

Living in the Southwest we found that there were few breeding farms in our areas dedicated solely to developing dressage horses. Thus, our search began by extensively visiting local stables, exploring local word of mouth and sales ads, and exhaustively researching online. While we found many beautiful horses we didn’t find our “dream” horse. We were looking for not just a fancy mover but a horse that was bred for dressage with exceptional athletic ability and most importantly intelligence and a desire to work. Like many people shopping for horses we found it exceptionally difficult to find a horse with the desired movement, as well as a horse with the desired intelligence and work ethic, to have such a horse pass a vet test, and finally to keep within our desired budget. So we began our European journey not because we couldn’t buy in the U.S. but because after several months of searching we decided to alter our methodology which would hopefully improve our success rate.

Growing up I rode at a dressage barn that frequently had German judges, trainers, apprentices and most importantly German Horses visiting. While I loved my Thoroughbred I developed an appreciation for the German horse breeding industry and based on this background we decided that we’d alter our search to take us to Germany for the dream buying experience of our life. As I often tell friends, “this was our one crazy moment!” So we were by no means experts in European horse shopping and certainly not horse brokers. Therefore, we had to become thoroughly educated prior to our visit. I found to my disappointment, that there were few if any helpful guides on the internet and basically only brokers offering to find a horse for you.

The first step in our horse search was to find and develop a relationship with a local dressage trainer. We chose Gintara Slavinskas because of her kind nature and desire to not push a young horse but to encourage that young horse to develop to his best with only positive reinforcement. Therefore, we consulted extensively with Gintara on our decision to shop in Germany and in short order we were all very excited and ready to hop on the next plane. Common sense took over however, and we decided to wait a few more months while we developed some contacts, chose a Verband or horse auction to attend and basically educated ourselves.

In this process we learned that most of the German warmblood registries offered several auctions throughout the year and luckily they are all now offering online viewing and information on the selection for the upcoming auction. We settled on researching the Oldenburg, Westfalen, and Hanoverian registries. All of their web sites can be found at horse-gate.com and be sure to select the small British Flag below the menu on the left for the English version of the page. After finding hose-gate we then explored all the Verbands we were interested in. At horse-gate these are found under the auction menu item. Select this button and you will find further options for Hannover, Holstein, Oldenburg, Wastfalan, and ESI

So once we chose our breed (Hanoverian) we began watching the online auctions and results for that breed. The Hanoverian Verband has 12 auctions a year so we had the opportunity to monitor a few prior to our visit. The auctions are all a little different in the field of horses offered and quality/pricing of these horses so I suggest you explore their web site early to determine what auction is best for you.

We opted for the July Summer auction and were able to monitor the winter and spring auction results. For all the auctions the selection of horses are listed and numbered, most of the horses will have still photos and several will have videos. Now the auctions are also offering a live video feed showing a presentation of the entire selection. All of this allows the buyer to get a good sense of the quality and type offered. The auction houses do offer bidding and buying by phone but I personally do not recommend buying based on just the web information as we found that seeing these same horses in real life drastically altered our favorites. Indeed, we had examined all photos and watched all videos easily 100 times prior to attending and had a short list with the strengths of each horse, but at the moment of arrival we tossed the list and stated making a new one based on our live impressions. There is just nothing to beat seeing and interacting directly with the horses. For online viewing you can also search the archives and view the after sales reports and learn information such as how many horses went to each country, the average sales price in addition to the high and low sales price. The site even breaks down how many horses were sold in each price range. I encourage you to view these stats and then to remember that they are not in dollars but in Euros so please convert for your price in Euros. And remember to get tissue out for this experiment because the current conversion rate is definitely not in our favor.

For the best fares we arranged our flight tickets well in advance and as this was “our crazy adventure” we opted to fly first class. We found that by shopping online and shopping early we were able to get first class tickets at an almost coach price. So I encourage you to search the online fares to save money for the auction.

Because we didn’t know anyone in Germany and of course didn’t know the city we called the Verband (they are extremely helpful for their guests) and went with their recommendation of Haags Hotel NiedersachsenHof. We found this to be a reasonable priced and lovely hotel with loads of European charm. Their contact number is 04231/666-0. While this was a lovely hotel the primary advantage is that it was just a brief walk from the auction house allowing repeated visits throughout our stay. The Hanoverian Verband and auction house are located in Lower Saxony Germany in the small town of Verden. The nearest airport is Bremen. A few other hotels are available in the town of Verden but will require a short car or cab ride to the auction.

For our transport we used a cab from Bremen to Verden because we didn’t want the hassle of driving in a foreign country. The rates are good and cab accommodations are clean and new with courteous drivers. We requested a pick up time and date from our cab driver and he showed up promptly as scheduled. Rental cars can also be used but I encourage further research prior to renting.

Okay, so timing of arrival is also important to allow maximum time for viewing and trying of the horses prior to the actual sales. The regular auctions make the horses available 2 weeks prior to the auction and the Elite 1 month prior to the auction. We attended 1 week ahead of the auction but would have appreciated and enjoyed the additional week. Also, many international competitors will attend the first week when it isn’t as busy and not as many eyes are watching their picks.

The protocol for the auction is a presentation or training of each horse in the morning and prospective buyer and training trying in the afternoon. They also will offer a formal presentation of all horses under rider at least once or twice prior to the auctions. Dressage horses are worked in dressage and jumpers are jumped. Each horse is assigned one trainer that will be with him through the journey and this individual will be a valuable asset to you. I encourage you to talk to the groom and trainer of your favorites to get a better feeling for the horse.

We arrived the morning of the formal presentation which began at noon and went well into the night. The auction we attended had 142 horses offered for sale and it took some time to view them all. We were fortunate to have a contact with a frequent buyer of auction horses, Melissa Mulchahey of Rose Lane Sporthorses, through our trainer and she offered her assistance at no charge. Although, the brokers do get a discount on the auction fees as well as some other perks from the auction house for their contribution to the event. So we met with the Melissa that night and found her to be pleasant, informed and a valuable asset in learning auction protocol.

Initially, we found it very difficult to form a short list as all the horses looked beautiful on first impression. However, mid-way thorough the presentation we saw a lovely black gelding with 3 white socks, blaze and sabino markings enter and ‘float’ around the arena. He was named Latin Lover and for me it was love at first sight but my trainer and the Melissa did their duty well and examined all possibilities. An interesting note is that Latin Lover did not have an online video or picture so he was not originally on our short list. By the end of that night we were all asleep on our feet with jet lag and crawled into bed.

The excitement of the auction had us up early and after a very quick breakfast we walked over to the barns and enjoyed visiting each horse while he was munching breakfast in his stall. One of our short list horses was a Hessen called Russian Fox and he was one of the few we kept on the list after visiting in person. As a side note the Hanoverian Verband recently bought out the Hessen Verband and now all hessens are registered Hanoverian and offered at the auctions. The Hessen was a lovely chestnut of average size again with sabino markings socks and blaze but most importantly free and lovely movement. We visited him while he was having breakfast and all agreed that he was lovely and well put together. We then visited the black horse that also turned out to be one of the 2 Hessens in the auction and found him amidst all the auction chaos laying down for a snooze. However, he quickly got to his feet when we greeted him and gave us all a nuzzle. At that point we all agreed he was a Teddy Bear but that we wouldn’t make any decision until we had formed out short list and tried several horses. But, he was definitely on the list.

A word on the auction chaos, it is definitely stressful for these young horses to attend the auction and was actually more stress then I originally expected. However, all the horses are treated with great care and love by the verband. Everything was about the horse and if a horse was determined to be tired or stressed a no visiting sign was placed on his stall and he was not take out or tried during this time. Another unexpected finding was that many of these young horses developed minor upper respiratory infection. Looking back I believe this was to be expected as the auction mixes many horses of young age from many different farms – much like kindergarten. The most common finding of this URI was slight nasal discharge and any affected horse was examined and treated by the in house veterinarian.

We continued our excursions that day by visiting each stall repeatedly and speaking with all the grooms and trainers. The groom of the chestnut agreed that he was a very lovely mover and well balanced for such a young horse and the groom of the black advised that he had a lovely character. The other horses we investigated included both mares and geldings with ages ranging form 3 to 6 years old and height from 15.2 to well over 17 hh. When exploring the barns if we were particularly interested in a horse we would request that the groom take him out for closer examination and inspection of movement in hand. This was very helpful for determining potential conformation faults and character. Some of the horses were clearly not people horses and would stand with rear end facing their gate and others would nicker and welcome all new visitors.

Later that day the training began with each trainer riding their group of horses. We found it helpful to keep the sales list of the entire selection handy to make quick notes in the margins as each horse was shown. Each horse was ridden by the trainer for about 15-20 minutes and there were 4-5 horses present in the arena at any one time. When the trainer was done riding he, or she, would take the horse to the end of the arena and dismount waiting for prospective buyers to emerge from the audience and request a ride to try the horse. This was an interesting and sometimes entertaining methodology as most of these horses were very green and had little if any steering or breaks. And anyone could try the horse regardless of their ability or lack of ability. The Verband trainers of course make each horse look like an advanced mount but it was eye opening to see some armature riders on the same mounts. We witnessed a few rider falls and run aways during this time. When trying these horses it is best to have eyes in the back of your head to look for the unexpected run away or inattentive rider. Caution is strongly advised. It is helpful to talk first with the trainer of the horse so you can get an understanding if you should use caution with that individual mount.

For both our top picks (the chestnut and black) the trainers were relaxed and willingly handed over the reins. Both horses were well behaved beyond their years, and marvelous movers. Other horses tried were very anxious and while perhaps lovely movers had aggressive or frightened characters. Often the trainers of these horses would advise a word of caution prior to handing over the reins. Out of respect for these hard working horses it is recommended that your rides be kept short with just enough time to get an idea of the way of going. Most people abided by this but a couple didn’t and were universally frowned upon.

One interesting rider was an older gentleman who appeared an expert rider and tried a nice bay. After dismounting the rider gave the horse a big kiss on the nose. It was nice to see after all the stress of the day.

When trying a horse I recommend that you follow your picks back to the barn. During this time you can watch the horse move on a straight line from behind and see how he responds for the untacking and bathing or grooming.

We eventually formed our short list of about 5 horses but the black and chestnut were top 2 picks and the black my own favorite. Once we had our short list we visited the house veterinarian and requested information about the vet check. He was very helpful and would actually show the digital x-rays for those interested. We found that the chestnut has 2 chips and the black no chips but 1 missing molar tooth. As a small animal veterinarian I found the vocabulary of chips interesting as they sound like a benign nothing but in reality chips referred to OCD lesions or cartilage lesions that could potentially cause lameness later in life based on the location of the chip. They also graded these chips as 1-3 with the highest being the most problematic. I recommend meeting with your equine veterinarian prior to attending the auction and discussing what type, if any, OCD lesion would be acceptable to you.

So we were very disappointed with the 2 chips on the chestnut but decided to keep him on our list as the chips were low grade and could be removed later if needed. The missing tooth was not of great concern in the black but did mean that he would need regular floating of his teeth and good dental care. Various other issues were found on the other horses on our list. Basically every horse will have something identified in the vet check and it is your job to use your team of veterinarian and trainer to determine what is acceptable to you – prior to the actual auction.

After meeting with the vet we took one horse off our list for grade 3 chips and added one other, but kept the original 2. The job now, was to prioritize the biding for each horse and determine if we would bid on all of the short list until one was won. We found that the chestnut would be sold and presented early on auction night and the black later in the night. This raised a dilemma because we had to determine if we waited for our first pick (black) or started biding early. We also had to determine how high we would go for each pick. In the end we decided to bid on our two favorites and keep those sold at the end of the list as our back-ups.

In the middle of the week Melissa took us for a drive about the country and on a visit to a beautiful stable (Dressurstall Kubelke) owned and operated by her trainer. We had a lovely visit here and were shown a couple of non-auction horses offered for sale including a beautiful 5 year old grey gelding. We decided to keep this horse as our back-up for after the auction as he was lovely.

After this we continued our daily viewing of the horses, training and presentation until the day of the auction quickly arrived. We all awakened early and were a mass of nerves. I’d done my math many times over the night before to determine how high I would bid in Euros. One thing I recommend having available for the auction is a printed spread sheet of U.S. dollars and the equal Euro amount. In the heat of the auction it is very helpful to glance down and know how many dollars you’re actually spending. As often as I reminded my self that we were bidding in Euros I kept thinking in dollars so keep that paper handy.

We were fortunate that Melissa was able to obtain ring side seats for the auctions at an excellent line of sight to the action & auctioneer . I recommend that you book your tickets early by contacting Mr. Malte Kanz @ ++49 42 31/6 73 50 the price for tickets range from 10-25 euros each.

Our bidding protocol was discussed ahead of time with Melissa and she offered to bid for us. This turned out to be a blessing as everything went much faster then expected once the bidding began. The auction started with the auctioneer starting at 5,000 Euros on the first horse and it quickly escalated from there. The auctioneer did present in German but a handy scroll board was available above him showing the current bid. Several young people were present around the arena to act as pointers and help direct the auctioneer’s attention to an active bidder. The actual bidding was done with a yellow card contained in the brochure and decorated with the Hanoverian logo. When the card was raised high a full bid was made when the card was presented horizontally the buyer was attempting to make a half bid which the auctioneer may or may not accept.

All of this was very new to us but we had a very enjoyable time watching the active bidders, the horses and the auctioneer. We found that immediately after a horse was sold the buyer was presented with gift from the Verband ranging from a Hanoverian logo mug to bottles of Champagne depending on how much the horse was sold for.

The enjoyment continued until our first pick arrived in the arena, the chestnut waltzed into the arena like he was floating and bids seemed to come form everywhere at once. I had set my max bid on him somewhat lower then on the black and we were quickly outbid. It was crushing and at that moment we wondered if we would be able to take any one of our picks home. The bidding ended with the chestnut going to Italy.

The black was in the last 1/3 of the auction and we had a long anxious wait until our next attempt. Teddy Bear, the black, (actually Latin Lover) marched out of the stable doors and into the arena like he’d been doing this all his life. He never hesitated or spooked but just floated around the arena. The bidding took off again and we were all very worried. Melissa had advised us that she would not bid until the last moment and to have patience but this was very difficult. She actually waited until the hammer was about to fall and then bid for us, immediately the people sitting behind us also began to bid! We bid back and forth several times until they hesitated and all went silent for what seemed forever. Everyone was waiting for their decision. Melissa turned around and stared at them waiting for their decision; I was near tears but couldn’t take my eyes off this spectacle. After a few seconds the other bidder withdrew and we thought we had won our Teddy Bear. Unfortunately our hopes were crushed when another person placed a bid from across the arena. I quickly did my poor Euro to Dollar calculation, realized I was already way over and decided to jump. We placed our bid and won our Teddy Bear!

When the gift bearers came with a few bottles of Champagne I realized that I’d gone way over budget but was still very glad that I had. We were all in tears due to the stress and excitement but they were happy tears and expressed great relief. I was overjoyed that the beautiful black Teddy Bear I had picked the first night was actually ours. It just didn’t seem real.

After we won the bid the reality quickly set in as the broker escorted us to the office to sign the sales agreement. No money was exchanged at this time and I learned that most people fly home on Sunday and then complete a wire transfer to the Verband for payment on Monday. But we had arranged a flight back later in the week and after advising the office of this found that they were very helpful and willing to work with us.

We returned to the arena and started to watch the rest of the auction but were advised again by Melissa that the protocol was to have the groom take the horse out for a photo and then return to the stable to enjoy the Champagne in the aisle with the former owners – a barn party of sorts.

We took Teddy out to the green for a photo and I could have stayed there all day but he was too quickly taken back to his stall where we met the former owners. They spoke broken English (a good things as I didn’t speak any German) and during our conversation they advised that they mostly raised sport horse ponies and Teddy had been their first endeavor into the bigger guys. The wife advised me that they bred their favorite mare to Latimer and dreamed of a tall black beautiful stallion with a star. When he arrived they named him Latin Lover. I was amazed at the close connection they had with Teddy, they were both crying the entire time. Later that night I learned that he had been their little daughter’s favorite and thus selling him had been difficult for them all. I thanked them for breeding and raising such a wonderful horse and for being willing to part with him. We then all decided to enjoy the Champagne and learned that Teddy loved to drink out of a glass but he was only allowed a sip. The barn party ended with our exchanging contact information with the former owners and promising to write and keep them updated.

We returned to the arena to see the last of the auction and saw the older gentleman who had kissed his mount on the nose, now bidding on and winning that same horse. After he won he hopped the fence and marched out to give the bay another kiss on the nose. For us too, It had been a wonderful night but there was still work to be done.

Our next step was to visit the gentleman in charge of the filming of the horses during training and the auction. For a nominal fee he collected all the video clips of our horse onto one DVD for us. You may also request a DVD of the horses radiographs or films which the verband will mail to you shortly after the auction.

We now had to contact the transport company to arrange a flight back to America for Teddy. Guido Klatte was our choice after researching companies prior to the auction we determined them to be the most reliable and experienced. The Klatte contact number is 49-4472 94007 – 0 . For the flight back the horses are placed into a box stall while still on the ground. The stall can be and usually is split into 3 individual stalls allowing for first class, business class and coach transport. Most horses fly 3 per box and the pricing at that time was approximately 7800.00. The box stall is filled with horses and then the entire stall is lifted and placed into the belly of the plane. A few seats are present in the plane and arrangements can be made to fly back with your horse. I didn’t realize this at the time so Teddy would have to fly without us. We scheduled his departure for the next Wednesday and we would still be in Germany for most of this time. This was a nice time to allow us to get to know Teddy over the next few days when the chaos of the auction had died down. It was interesting to watch all the “brender-up” style trailers pulled by Mercedes come to collect horses for rides to their new home. The barns quickly emptied to the few horses going to the U.S on the same plane out. The time for us to depart came too quickly and we kissed Teddy (now firmly his name) goodbye and left for home knowing he would be there shortly. Upon arrival we made the necessary wire transfer and then waited for his arrival to California LAX airport. Jet Pets is the receiving company and have to be paid for caring for the horse during the 3 day gelding quarantine. We were able to arrange all this through Guido Klatte including reservation and payment. Stallions and mares entering the country have to go to a separate facility called a CEM quarantine facility and have a longer stay.

Cost for mare quarantine is approximately $1950 and stallions are 4500 for the stay and testing. For geldings the cost is much less because they only need the 3 days with Jet Pets and all testing and paperwork can be completed prior to arrival by the transport company.

Teddy arrived in the U.S early in the morning and we received a call from Jet Pets advising us that he had arrived safe and sound. They would be taking his temperature daily to ensure he was not spiking a fever and if all went well they would release him in the expected 3 days. I was also able to get information on a local hauler from Jet Pets and arranged the hauling from LAX to Arizona. I received a call from Jet Pets daily regarding his status and on the 3rd day received a call that he had been picked up and was on his way home. We were overjoyed but had to continue to function as normal and work that day. After work I raced to the stable during a freak thunder storm and found that my trainer had already received him and placed him in his new stall. I entered the stall completely in awe that I was actually seeing him there and he turned around and presented his rear end to us! I wasn’t sure what to make of this as this wasn’t the Teddy we know and really he didn’t have his ears back or seen angry. I rubbed his tail while thinking this over and he leaned in for a good long scratch. Teddy liked to have his bum scratched! It is a habit that he continues to this day. Any available object makes a good bum scratcher but he still likes us to do it for him. He was finally home and was the Teddy we remembered.

Jill M. Patt, DVM

For readers of my content: Unless stated otherwise, I do not endorse content of web sites other than the two listed below.

http://www.littlecrittersvet.com – Pet Care Information & Photo Gallery – Visit littlecrittersvet for extensive information on small & exotic pet care with > 1000 photos of animals from informative to just darn cute.

[http://www.sensationsporthorses.com] – All Things Horse & Hound – Horse people – please visit ATHH for unique, beautiful, & functional horse tack, equestrian supplies, grooming supplies, equine photos, silver sterling jewelry, LED dog collars and books on all things horse.

If you would like to use this article you may, but the entire article with the above information must be included. Also, I do not authorize embedding any links within my articles or any claims that I endorse a product or service.